The legislature’s Judiciary, Organic Laws and Statues Committee yesterday completed its first review of the amendment to the Statute Governing Preferential Treatment to Retired Presidents and Vice Presidents (卸任總統副總統禮遇條例).
The amendment stipulates that retired presidents or vice presidents found guilty of corruption or other major crimes in a first trial would have all preferential treatment terminated. The treatment would be reinstated and their monthly pensions compensated if he or she were proved innocent after a third and final trial.
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislators argued with their Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) counterparts, saying that nobody should be considered guilty until all avenues of appeal have been tried.
“Is this the human rights we are fighting for?” DPP Legislator Tsai Huang-liang (蔡煌瑯) said.
“This is indeed the spirit that everybody is fighting for,” said Presidential Office Deputy Secretary-General Lai Feng-wei (賴峰偉), who also attended the meeting. “However, we also need to make minor adjustments every now and then because of changing public views.”
The amendment was proposed by KMT Legislator Wu Yu-sheng (吳育昇), but was rejected by the DPP caucus. DPP members said Wu’s proposal targeted former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁).
Despite the DPP’s appeals, KMT legislative caucus whip Lin Yi-shih (林益世) said KMT members had already resolved to support Wu’s proposal prior to the meeting.